When I’m going to cook a nice piece of beef on the BBQ, I always go for eye fillet or porterhouse. It’s expensive but you know you’re going to end up with beautiful, tender meat.
However this week I thought i’d venture further into the belly of the beast and buy a cheaper cut that I could throw on the BBQ and then slice up. I had ‘skirt’ or ‘flank’ steak in mind but when I got to the butchers and saw the skirt steak, I knew it’d be like eating old boots. Very sinewy. A quick chat with the butcher confirmed this and he told me that what I was after was hanger steak. Following a quick anatomy lesson, and the admission that on this particular day he had no hanger steak, he suggested I try ‘flatiron’ steak instead – which is a flat muscle off the shoulder blade.
So off I went, slightly disappointed with my second rate flatiron steak, and with the promise that next time I visited he’d give me the best piece of hanger steak he had.
I cooked up the flatiron, quickly on high heat, and while this cut was nice and tender and perfect for tacos and the like, it was lacking a little flavour. So back to the butcher I went.
He lived up to his promise and I waited as he threw half a beast on the chopping block and expertly sliced away until I had the hanger steak i’d be waiting for. At $14.99 a kilo I was keen to see if it would live up to my expectations.
Much like flatiron, hanger steak needs to be cooked over high heat to medium doneness. Any longer and it becomes a bit tough to eat apparently. So that’s what I did, I cooked it to medium on the Weber, let it rest for 5 – 10 minutes and then sliced it up (against the grain) and put it in this particularly tasty sandwich. What doesn’t taste good between 2 pieces of bread?
I’ll definitely be buying hanger steak more often. It’s inexpensive, loaded with flavour, quick to cook and very versatile. I’ve also served this steak with homemade potato chips and blue cheese sauce, it was delicious.
Hanger steak sandwich with marinated onions
Makes 2 sandwiches
For the sandwich
1/2 piece of hanger steak, trimmed (you’ll have meat left over, save it for another sandwich..)
Salt and pepper
4 slices of sourdough bread
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 heaped tbs of mayonnaise (I use kewpie)
4 tomato slices
A handful of rocket
Goats cheese or any other cheese that takes your fancy
For the marinated onions
This marinated onion recipe comes from the cumulus cookbook. They serve it with slow roasted lamb shoulder, which if you haven’t tried you absolutely should.
1 red onion, finely sliced lengthways
1 pinch of salt flakes
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tablespoons olive oil
1 pinch of ground sumac
1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
Place sliced onions in a bowl and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Leave for one hour. Squeeze liquid from the onions and place in a clean bowl. Add remaining ingredients, mix and set aside.
Bring the steak to room temperature and coat with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Pre-heat BBQ to high heat and cook the steak for approximately 5 minutes on each side (depending on thickness). Make sure the outside is nice and charred. Remove from the heat once cooked to your liking and leave to rest, covered in foil for about 10 minutes. Thinly slice ready to put in your sandwich.
Mix the mayo and dijon mustard together. Spread over two pieces of bread. Top each sandwich with the steak, tomatoes, salt and pepper, marinated onions and rocket. Spread goats cheese on the top piece of bread and close each sandwich.
A good steak sandwich always goes well with chips…